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The year: 2016. The scene: a Game of Thrones finale watch party. We had all arrived about a half hour early to talk about our theories and have a few glasses of wine a la Tyrion Lannister. Conversation was flowing from one topic to the next, and somehow or another it came to what was in our Twitter bios. We went around and read each of ours aloud, and finally it was my turn.
“Alright Charlie, what’s yours say?” my friend Ali asked me. I don’t exactly remember what it said, but it went something like this.
“Mizzou alum, social media freak, fitness addict, pizza lover. Sometimes gets reasonably irate in traffic.” Everyone died laughing. I was confused at first because, honestly, I didn’t find anything too funny with that. Finally, Ali explained it to me.
“Charlie,” she said, “Literally none of those things are true other than the fact that you graduated from Mizzou.”
She was right. I was bad at social media. I didn’t know what I was doing. I hate working out, and everyone knows that I’ll choose tacos over pizza any day of the week.
That was the day that I decided I had to reinvent myself. Rebrand, as they say in “the biz.” When I got home, I immediately changed my Twitter bio to, “I’ve passed out eating pizza pretty consistently over the past few months.” Yes, that was it. It was my chance to allow myself to accept the mess that I was and show it to the world.
That is, until Twitter actually saw that I hadn’t changed my bio in so long that they considered the change “Suspicious Activity” and locked me out of my account until I could confirm it was me. They did that by sending me an email to a throwaway address that I no longer had the password to. And just like that, my rebrand backfired on me. So long, @herescharlie.
But like a phoenix, I was reborn from the ashes of my old account. I looked at this not as a defeat, but as an opportunity to truly, truly rebrand and reinvent myself. I would start over from scratch. New handle, with a new email address, and a new set of followers.
It’s been a long ride. Hard to go from having a decent following on Twitter to absolute zero. But in the last year and two months, a lot has happened. I’ve made new friends, learned new tricks of the trade, and have started writing for a fairly notable website. I’ve got tweets that earn a significant amount of likes and can say from experience that it does, in fact, go down in the DM’s.
And that is why I come before you today, vulnerable and humble, to announce that I think I’m ready to be verified on Twitter.
I know, I know. Everyone thinks they should be verified on Twitter, everyone thinks they should have their own TV show, everyone thinks they’re hilarious. I, however, think I can make a pretty good case for it. Hear me out.
First of all, I am not a parody account. Yes, my life can be a joke sometimes, but I can verify that I am the only one running my account. None of that Russian troll shit. I feel like that’s some Day 1 stuff that I’ve had covered from the jump.
More importantly, in my eyes, having a verified account is kind of a daunting task. Some real Uncle Ben, “great power, great responsibility” shit. You can use it for good and spread awareness for serious issues or for entertainment purposes, or you can use it for evil to spread messages of hate.
Here’s the thing though: I don’t like to get political on the internet, so I would just use it for fun. Tweet at Anna Kendrick just to say hey, because I know she would get a notification about it. Become the undisputed leader of my friend group, all because of the blue check mark next to my name. Maybe I would even be a benevolent Twitter celebrity and send out calls to action to get my friends some more followers.
When you break it down to brass tacks, I’m almost the perfect kind of person to be verified on Twitter, all because I’m so imperfect. Not all of my tweets are heaters, and I know that. I’m not extraordinarily attractive. I’m a soft 7 on my best days. But you know where that doesn’t matter? The internet. That’s what sets me apart. I’m a man of the people. Not super hot, not hideous, not laugh out loud hysterical, not grit-your-teeth controversial. I’m relatable. I’m normal. I’m ready. .